A Saint who was Adopted by the Grand Duke - Chapter 82
However, it wasn’t long until Rabienne’s face stiffened as she observed the crystal ball.
“…There are cracks?”
“The situation has become vulnerable. There have been several reports regarding the ruptures throughout various boundaries.”
The crystal ball was the source of power which protected the Empire.
The central temple was located within the heart of the Empire. This was for the crystal ball to remain in a prominent position.
The orb absorbed mana to maintain its borders. Most of its power originated from the Saint.
“It must be because Saint Cespia has passed away.”
Rabienne, with an expression full of longing, slowly reached towards the crystal ball.
There was only one Saint capable of touching the crystal ball from one generation to the next.
Ultimately, the moment has come to discover whether or not she was a Saint.
TN: Oh, she really thought.
However, Rabienne screamed at the burning sensation scouring against her palms as she brushed against the crystal ball.
PR/N: ( ✧Д✧) YES!!
“A-Are you alright?”
White smoke rose from her palms. Had she endured the pain a second longer, her hands would’ve already burned.
Rabienne slumped to the floor in agony. Then, she staggered to her feet while smiling like a madman.
“Right now… Was I rejected?”
“This means it isn’t me. I’ve been waiting for this day for so long. I thought this seat would be mine after Saint Cespia died, but this ball refused me.”
“That isn’t important. The temple has already designated Rabienne as the next Saint.”
Lucas’s words did not work as a comfort to her. Rabienne’s heart was fueled by jealousy and anger towards the true saint.
She was anxious throughout the funeral because the awareness of the saint had yet to appear on the back of her hand.
But having this as a result, she couldn’t accept her reality.
“Why is it not me? I’ve devoted everything to being the Saint since I was born. But why! Why is it not me!!”
Rabienne threw forth her protests towards the crystal ball.
“Lady Rabienne, why don’t you calm down and try again?”
Rabienne came to her senses with Lucas’s words.
She knew well that repeating the process wouldn’t change her results. Rabienne took a deep breath and glanced at Lucas.
“I’m sorry. I was a bit too agitated.”
Goosebumps crept on Lucas’s back as he observed Rabienne’s beaming figure. It was as if she had never been angry.
‘Who would believe that she is only 16 years old?’
Although she was the second Saint, Rabienne differed from Cespia in both status and personality.
They especially contrasted each other, looking at how she sought her hands on anything she wished for, even if that desire demanded evil means.
She was ambitious to the point it was difficult to handle her, but the temple saw this as a perfect method to make profits.
“High Priest Lucas is right. I am the next Saint, and the appointment ceremony will soon proceed without a hitch.”
“That’s right. The outcome is unfortunate, but there is nothing that can stop you.”
Rabienne gazed at the crystal ball as she continued speaking.
“The High Priests will concentrate on their prayers for the time being. We must quickly discover who the Saint is.”
Since the crystal ball absorbed a certain quantity of mana from anything maintaining the force, the boundaries did not completely wreck.
Still, the crack that formed during the time Cespia’s power weakened was now visible to the eye.
No one knew what threats would fall on the Empire, should the cracks become more severe than they are now.
This happening was bound to shake the reason for the existence of the Temple; the temple which rose for its maintenance of the safety of the Empire.
And this crack could only be restored with the power of the Saint.
“Yes. I will try my best to find them before the ceremony.”
Lucas replied calmly.
In addition to Lucas, there were three more High Priests who possessed the ability to receive revelations through their prayers.
Among them, Lucas was the only one to discover that Rabienne was not a Saint.
However, since he was to act for the benefit of the temple, knowing the truth made no difference.
Rabienne could only ask for the revelations merely because the High Priests supported her.
“The Prince has also been demanding a meeting.”
“We can have an encounter on the day of the Crown Prince selection meeting.”
All that remained was for Rabienne to be appointed as a Saint. Even if she simply remained still, her statement as a Saint would arrive the following month.
Now that she confirmed her becoming a Saint in only name, Rabienne could not smile.
There was no existing excitement left in her eyes as she faced the crystal ball.
Lucas hurriedly prepared to leave as he noticed Rabienne’s change in expression.
“…Shall we leave now?”
“Yes, let’s go.”
Rabienne chilled. This was a room she had longed for, but it now stood meaningless.
An alley in the capital where the Imperial Palace is located.
A luxurious carriage halted before one of the many lined commoner cottages.
A middle-aged man dismounted the wagon; it was Marquis Joshua. He peered about and knocked on the entrance.
After a while.
The door unlatched gradually. Joshua entered without delay.
Inside the candle-lit room, Noah sat in wait for him. Benjamin stood beside him.
Joshua couldn’t help but feel a sense of shock at the sight of the two. The two had withdrawn from the world of politics even since Noah’s banishment.
“…Are you really the Prince?”
“Yes. Sit here for now.”
Noah smiled softly and guided Joshua to the seat opposite him.
Joshua was astonished to see Noah progressing healthily. He couldn’t close his mouth, this was a hard sight to behold.
“I heard you harbored a severe illness, but it must have been all false rumors.”
“As you can see, I am very healthy now.”
The two people faced each other across the table, slowly but carefully scrutinizing the other.
“In fact, I reached this place with uncertainty. I thought someone might have been impersonating the Prince.”
“Still, you went through all the trouble because you held expectations for me, isn’t that right?”
Joshua’s expression converted drastically as Noah immediately brought forth his matter.
“What are you thinking?”
“I’m going to be the Crown Prince.”
A heavy atmosphere fell between the three as they faced each other.
Joshua gazed at Noah with an expression mixed with remorse and guilt. He spoke with difficulty.
“I wouldn’t know about the past, but it will be hard now. The majority are already leaning towards Prince Damon.”
“It may seem so, but I have been collecting a large number of votes over the past year.”
Joshua expressed his reluctance at Noah’s words.
“I was originally on the Prince’s side, but I cannot afford to take risks.”
The nobles Noah persuaded thus far had also responded in the same manner.
“I understand. Even now, I am still denied from my title.”
Noah skillfully responded to Joshua’s apprehensions.
“But as you know, if not me, Damon will be the one rightful of the title. Didn’t the Marquis always insist on keeping his distance from the temple?”
He persuaded Joshua slowly but steadily, as he did to other nobles.
“It will be over when Damon becomes the Crown Prince. His collusion with the temple will grow stronger and we will never escape from their grasp.”
“The preparations are complete. With the Marquis, the majority has already promised to support me.”
This number practically coincided with the number of those eligible to participate in the meeting, excluding the temple’s votes.
Joshua rubbed his chin with a flustered expression clouding his face. He glanced at Benjamin and asked.
“I heard Sir Benjamin resided in a local temple… Do you plan on returning to politics?”
“Yes. I must return, as the Prince is reciprocating. I believe that the Prince will do well.”
The eyes of the two met in the air. Benjamin’s sincere eyes eventually drove Joshua’s resolution.
Although currently enshrined in a provincial temple, Benjamin was a powerful man at the forefront of the war, with a substantial number of followers until the past few years.
It certainly appeared trustworthy, seeing Benjamin by Noah’s side. His statement of having gathered a majority of supporters also seemed authentic.
Since then, Joshua bombarded Noah with countless questions.
After the long conversation, he resolved to follow suit.
“…Good. I will vote for the Prince.”
“You have vowed.”
“Yes. Instead, the Prince must not forget me.”
“I always take care of my people.”
Noah grinned, opened the book on the table, and arranged an empty page before Joshua.
“I wouldn’t betray you, even without this.”
“It’s good to be sure of the other.”
Noah’s black eyes shone.
Joshua quietly stared before sighing exasperatedly.
Joshua wrote and signed his name on the book. It was an indication of trust, that they would not betray each other.
“Then I will see you at the meeting.”
Joshua shook hands with Noah and Benjamin before leaving the house. It was as if nothing happened.
Noah saw him off before scrolling through the long list of names, a satisfied expression on his face.
“Everything’s done now.”
When the Austin Empire nominated a Crown Prince, it was not determined solely by the Emperor’s will.
The votes of the Imperial Family, the temple, including the says of the nobles were all combined and resolved by a majority vote at the meeting.
It would have been advantageous if the Emperor pushed forth the decision, but he could not without absolute reason.
Noah remained near the Imperial Palace and compelled the nobles for a year. He had finally achieved a majority today.
Benjamin entered after confirming the door was locked tightly. He leaned against the wall and observed Noah.
“I didn’t expect you to persuade everyone on the list in such a short amount of time. It is baffling.”
“You know it’s all thanks to Benjamin’s help. If I were alone, this result would never have been achieved.”
“That is not true. It is all thanks to the Prince who persuaded me. You can be more confident.”
Benjamin’s eyes gently creased. The way he looked at Noah was full of faith.